Take five minutes to throw four ingredients into the crockpot to make this Slow Cooker Italian Beef. After a few hours you’ll have zesty and filling shredded beef that you can pile onto a crusty bun and top with cheese and peppers for a delicious sandwich.
Slow Cooker Italian Beef Sandwiches
Everyone loves crockpot recipes. Especially ones that require only 5 minutes to prep and no additional work before it goes into the slow cooker. This is one of those recipes.
In my slow cooker group on Facebook, I have many people request “convenience” recipes (canned soup, etc…like my creamy italian chicken) and then many that only want “real” ingredients. I get it. I like to offer a balance of the two.
This slow cooker Italian Beef only requires four ingredients to make and then you can shred it up, pile it onto a sandwich bun, load it with toppings, and enjoy it for a game day, at a party, or just for dinner.
Why you’ll love these Crockpot Italian Beef Subs
- It makes a lot. You can easily serve 6-8 people with a 2-3 pound roast.
- They’re easy! Only 4 ingredients, 5 minutes prep, and then toppings.
- Great for game day or a party.
Equipment needed to make Slow Cooker Italian Beef Sandwiches
- Slow Cooker – A 6 quart slow cooker (or larger) is needed for this recipe. I have this one and recommend it.
- Ladle – To scoop out some of the juices from the roast.
- Meat Claws – I usually just use a fork but my husband swears by these meat claws for shredding meat.
Ingredients for Italian Beef Sandwiches
Below is a list of ingredients you’ll need to help you prep. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card.
Beef – A two to three pound chuck eye roast. Below is a list of other common names this cut sometimes goes by.
Italian Dressing – Use your favorite Italian dressing. Alternatively a dry zesty Italian packet can also be used.
Sweet Salad Peppers – Sweet salad peppers come in a jar and are found in the olive/condiment aisle of most markets. Mt. Olive also makes a “Sweet n Hot” version of salad peppers that can also be used.
Parmesan Cheese – Grated parmesan cheese.
Buns – You’ll need a crusty bread to use for these sandwiches like hoagie or French bread.
Sliced Cheese – To top the sandwiches, you’ll want provolone or mozzarella slices of cheese.
How to make Italian Beef Sandwiches in the Slow Cooker
STEP ONE: First, add the roast to the bottom of a 6 quart slow cooker. Pour the Italian dressing on top and then add half of the jar of sweet peppers and half of the juice. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours or HIGH for 4 hours.
STEP TWO: One hour before the end of the cook time, once the meat is tender, use a ladle to remove the majority of the juices, shred the meat, and add the parmesan cheese. Stir, replace the cover, and let it come together for another 30-60 minutes.
STEP THREE: Finally, when ready to serve, pile some shredded beef onto a bun, top with cheese and additional peppers and enjoy!
- You can use pepperoncinis or roasted red peppers instead of sweet salad peppers.
- If you want to add some heat, add some hot pepper rings and juice to the mix.
- Adding sliced onions to cook with the beef adds another level of flavor.
- Mozzarella cheese is a great alternative to provolone. So is pepper jack!
- If not serving as a sandwich, the shredded beef is also delicious over mashed potatoes.
I served this batch of sandwiches with provolone cheese and additional sweet peppers but some other topping options include: giardiniera (mixed pickled veggies), pepperoncinis, sliced red onions, mozzarella cheese, lettuce, tomato…whatever your favorite sandwich fixings are!
How to reheat and store Slow Cooker Italian Beef
How to store leftovers
Leftovers should be stored covered in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Can I freeze Italian Beef?
Italian beef will freeze well. First, let it cool completely and then transfer it to a freezer safe container or a freezer bag. Squeeze out any excess air and then freeze for up to 3 months.
When ready to eat it, move it from the freezer to the fridge to thaw overnight.
How to reheat Italian Beef
When you’re ready to reheat the beef, you can heat it in the microwave, in the oven, or back in the slow cooker until it is heated through.
Italian Beef FAQs
What goes with Italian beef sandwiches?
- Potato Chips
- Feta Artichoke Pasta Salad
- Potato Salad
- Baked Beans
- Creamy Stovetop Macaroni & Cheese
- Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
If you’re serving the shredded Italian beef as a standalone dish (not as a sandwich), I would pair it with garlic mashed potatoes, roasted potato wedges, baked potatoes (either made in the air fryer or slow cooker) a salad, or loaded cauliflower casserole.
Is Italian Beef spicy?
No, it’s not spicy. Much like Mississippi Pot Roast that uses pepperoncinis, I don’t find this beef actually heat-spicy with the use of the sweet salad peppers, which are banana peppers. I’d say it’s zesty but definitely kid-friendly.
If you want to spice it up, you can add some hot pepper rings and juice.
What cut of meat is Italian beef made from?
We’re using a boneless chuck eye roast for this Italian beef. A chuck eye comes from the shoulder and is flavorful and fairly fatty, which means it breaks down nicely while slow cooking to leave the meat juicy. It has less tissue so there is less to trim away, giving you more bang for your buck.
Can I use dry Italian seasoning mix?
Yes, you can use a packet of zesty Italian dressing mix instead of the prepared dressing. I like Good Seasons brand.
Which type of rolls should I use for the sandwiches?
You’ll want a nice, sturdy bread for the sandwiches. Either hoagie rolls, french rolls, or your favorite sub sandwich will work well.
What is a chuck eye roast?
If you haven’t seen a “chuck eye roast” in your market it could be because it goes by lots of names. Other names you can look for include:
- chuck center roast
- chuck-eye roll
- inside chuck roll
- boneless chuck fillet
- America’s beef roast
All of those are referring to the same cut.
Need more beef recipes? Try these:
Easy Garlic Steak Bites
Slow Cooker Beef Stew
Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Potatoes
Slow Cooker Pot Roast
Slow Cooker Hot Dog Chili
Slow Cooker Beef Ramen Noodles
Click here for my entire collection of beef recipes.
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Made these yesterday, turned out great. Our roast was a little bigger so let cook about 7 hours before I could shred. Added some red pepper flakes, too. Then toasted the sandwiches in the Air Fryer. Will make again thanks!
Melissa Williams says
Ooh love a toasty bun 🙂
I did the same it was amazing!
Could you make this with chicken?
Melissa Williams says
Yep, that should work! Boneless chicken breasts will cook a bit faster – 3-4 hours on HIGH should do.